Of all the Ajith movies that have been made till now, if there ever is a movie in which I enjoyed his performance thoroughly, I have to say it is this movie – Mankatha!
That backdrop being set, let me begin exploring the Venkat Prabhu game which was played strictly with no rules.
- Ajith – Barring a jarring introductory scene, which probably was the only scene where VP decided to let the maniacal Ajith fan in him take over the normally bold director in him, Ajith had a moment or two to stamp his presence in every scene and how! This is Ajith like you have never seen before. With a Salt & Pepper hairdo and an unashamed 40 year look, With less make-up and imbuing what traditionally is considered as filthy habits of a gentleman according to “Thamizh” culture, With an attitude that highlights absolutely no qualms towards betraying friends and even girlfriends, here is Vinayak Mahadevan, a rare anti-hero portrayed in a Thamizh movie with style. Mind you, this is not your usual over-the-top evil laugh villain – This is an anti-hero enacted to perfection. Ajith walked the walk and talked the talk of an ant-hero, whom you would love to hate after you watch the movie.
- Multi-character cast – By now, anyone who has followed VP’s directorial graph would know, he is a master of multi-character plots. Pretty amazing task to put together a screenplay and direct sequences in a way that the movie doesn’t rub off any confused souls.
- Lighthearted action feast – There are enough references in the movie (I may have to watch it again to analyze these) to underscore, Venkat Prabhu, the intelligent writer and director. References that can either be taken as tributes to pop culture movies/scenes or as a deliberate attempt to elucidate the lightheartedness and the wholesome fun of making a movie like this. The presence of Premgi during some serious action scenes and his quirky one-liners also reinforce my above stated belief.
- End credits – Got to see the bloopers during the rolling of end credits. It is absolutely enjoyable – almost to the point that you wished you could stay in the theater longer to watch the credits roll over for a few more minutes while you enjoy the sheer fun this film unit had.
- Slightly over the top and seemingly artificial use of cuss words sometimes at inopportune moments.
- Thala – As much I admired the fact that Ajith after disbanding his fan clubs, decided to experiment bravely by appearing his real age with grey hair and portraying an anti-hero who drinks to his heart’s content and brain’s torture, I can’t get over the fact why VP insisted on a few Thala worship scenes. I am sure all the fans got their money’s worth in just those few scenes but my point is that they did anyways with 90% of the movie where that deliberate worship was not done.
- Editing – Some reviewers complained about the screenplay lacking clarity. I felt it is more of an editing issue than the actual screenplay..I think the director ended up compromising some scenes for different reasons (pace, length, etc.). I never was not lost anywhere in the movie because of poor editing but the movie could have been a bit more subtle in revealing the plot and VP could have trusted his instinct more to make the screenplay a bit more cerebral, which would have let people like me walk out of the theater with more satisfaction.
- Both the audience and the Mankatha unit win – The unit for calling the right bets and for playing the cards right – The audience for getting to spend 2 plus hours watching an action thriller film in Thamizh that belongs to a completely new genre which most of us are not used to seeing here but may have in Hollywood.
Post Game Note:
- If I didn’t mention anything about music, it is because Yuvan neither impressed me nor disappointed me. BGM was great in a couple of scenes but mostly average in my opinion..(belongs to the “tried too hard” category). Except 2 songs, the rest failed to register.
- The color tint they decided to have for the movie was pretty interesting. Would like to get some scientific reasons if any..
- If you have an evening and 20 bucks (or whatever it costs you wherever you are) to spare, go watch it. I am sure you will have fun!